The governing body of college sports is left with only one strong attribute. It isn’t a favorable one, either. The NCAA’s lone ability is their inability to do anything correct. Sure, the NCAA as a governing body is pretty easy to pick on. The lowest of the low-hanging fruit. But they are that for a reason. Between years of making the fictional ideal of amateurism seem important, to suspending players for other’s clerical errors, all the way to pretending what they do is the exclusive thread which keeps college sports from falling apart. Regardless, they are what they are – whatever it is that they are at this point.
Which brings us to the NCAA’s stance on the EA lawsuit fallout. The suit brought on by Ed O’Bannon, which all plaintiffs claimed their likeness was used for profit, has been settled out of court in the favorable direction of the student-athletes (pending court approval). Because, you know, the NCAA and the universities it oversees have long claimed that they don’t profit off the individual athlete, but the brand that is the programs are the money-makers. Which is more or less not true. Mostly because we all know you were not buying the number 5 Club State Pool Cleaners jersey because you just liked that number and their school colors. The same goes for EA’s use for players looking eerily similar to their real life counterparts, all the way down to their player attributes.
That is not what is funny here. The fact that the NCAA — and the third-person parties — got away with profiting off of powerless kids for so long is not either. Nor is their continuous stance that the end of their idea of amateurism is the Apocalypse of college sports. It is their completely opposite of altruistic stance in a statement after the settlement was reached. As in, the NCAA won’t go after current student-athletes to punish them if the court approves the settlement. How novel. I mean, it isn’t the NCAA’s money. So it makes no sense for them to do this, right?
Here is the thing: Depending how many people put their name towards the suit, a mere 48 bones could be rewarded to each individual student-athlete. So please excuse me for not giving the NCAA a standing ovation for not attacking a group of people who they only recently allowed to eat until they are full. In the same statement the NCAA released, in which they claimed no retribution would be had against players, they also made it a point to emphasize that this payment would not defame or ruin their current pay structure to the athletes. In the statement, “This proposed settlement does not equate to payment of current student-athletes for their athletic performance, regardless of how it is being publicly characterized. ”
Not to mention the fact that the governing body of college sports is blaming the lawyers for all of this. Highlighting the fact that the lawyers handling the EA lawsuit can see up to $15 million for their services. The NCAA complaining about lawyers getting paid for their services is the most ironic, bitter, and classless thing a group of people could ever say. Except we already know the NCAA, and they don’t really represent class at all. They represent universities and their goal of making cash off the backs of other’s hard work. Even the idea that the NCAA is mad at another group of people for profiting off of these student-athletes is more ironic than Alanis Morissette’s Ironic song not having actual ironic examples in it. Really, the NCAA is just mad that this EA lawsuit result has set a precedent. That student-athletes are owed money. But the truth of the matter is it doesn’t matter that they have to pay student-athletes. It is that they, the almighty NCAA, might have to.
– NCAA Statement
There is another similar video game lawsuit on the horizon. This one is not against EA sports, but against the NCAA itself. Meaning the NCAA will be left holding the bag if the court rules in the players’ favor. If they are this mad over the EA lawsuit, one could only imagine how upset they will be when someone who has more power than them, tell it, they are required by law to give those powerless, voiceless, used, student-athletes some cash.
As previously admitted, this is all low hanging fruit. We all know the jig by now. It is not like we could have expected the NCAA to say, “By all means. EA has caved and gave the kids the money they are owed? Let’s do it too.” It has gotten to the point, however, where this song and dance has grown tiresome. So tiresome, in fact, that no one outside the really dedicated seem to care anymore. Which is probably something the NCAA has hoped for all along. Drag all these lawsuits through the mud, take as much time as possible, money people to death, and just hope everything goes away.
It isn’t going away. The fact that it has taken this long for the ball to get rolling against the NCAA is a shame. I can’t imagine having to tell my daughters that there was a time, as recently as the moment this is published, that billions and billions of dollars were made off of unpaid laborers. That, the people who (didn’t?) employed these people claimed that the same free education they gave these student-athletes when it was only a millions-of-dollars-a-year business is the same benefit given to them when it hit the billions.
But yawn, though — right? What about your kids? The regular people’s children? Whatever, man. Tell them…No, tell yourself to get good at something. Throw better, read better, just be better. It is about time we start to acknowledge that everyone isn’t the same. That the world is only fair in the sense that the elite get the most of the money, benefits, etc., and the regular folk are left scrapping. It is that way in capitalistic America and it should be that way in a billion dollar sport. It shouldn’t be the opposite because a, magically, non-profit is built off a foundation of abuse, lies, scams, and sleight of hand.
Amateurism isn’t real. It never was. The NCAA continues to push their agenda via self-serving tweets, commercials and near propaganda like conferences. Between jealousy, fear of change, and uneducated opinions, everyone has let this thing go on for far too long. We should ALL be ashamed of ourselves.
Yes, even the almighty NCAA.